Phonetic transcription

Phonetic transcription based on audio or audio-video recordings facilitates the analysis of speech characteristics. Broad phonetic transcription may be good enough for analysis of which speech sounds are produced, while narrow phonetic transcription is required to describe small nuances in speech, e.g., sub phonemic contrasts or audible nasal air leakage. For assessment of cleft palate speech, narrow transcription according to the International Phonetic Alphabet (The International Phonetic Association, 2015; 2020) is often used.

Severe speech disorders are commonly associated with low transcriber agreement, where broad phonetic transcription is more reliable than narrow (Shriberg & Lof, 1991, Brøndsted et al., 1994). It is easier to achieve high agreement within and between judges in phonetic transcription of single words compared to other speech materials (Klintö et al., 2011). Visual cues from audio-video recordings may increase the occurrence of anterior articulatory places and audible nasal air leakage in phonetic transcription of cleft palate speech, compared to phonetic transcription based on audio recordings (Klintö & Lohmander, 2017). Also, visual cues may result in higher percentage consonants correct. However, if age-appropriate consonant processes are scored as correct when transcribing speech of young children (3-year-olds) with cleft palate, the choice of recording medium does not seem to matter (Klintö & Lohmander, 2017).



* Brønsted K, Grunwell P, Henningsson G, Jansonius K, Karling J, Meijer M, Ording U, Sell D, Vermeij-Zieverink E, Wyatt R. (EUROCLEFT SPEECH Group). A phonetic framework for the cross-linguistic analysis of cleft palate speech. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 1994;8:109–125.
* Klintö K, Lohmander A. Does the recording medium influence phonetic transcription of cleft palate speech? International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 2017;52:440–449.
* Klintö K, Salameh EK, Svensson H, Lohmander A. The impact of speech material on speech judgement in children with and without cleft palate. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 2011;46:348-60.
* Shriberg LD, Lof GL. Reliability studies in broad and narrow phonetic transcription. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 1991;5:225–279.
* The International Phonetic Association [Internet]. The International Phonetic Alphabet (Revised to 2020). extIPA Symbols for Disordered Speech (Revised to 2015). 2020; 2015.  Available from: